The first veterinary school in the State of New Jersey has received a $30 million gift from South Jersey business leader and entrepreneur Gerald B. Shreiber. The veterinary school will be known as the Shreiber School of Veterinary Medicine at Rowan University.
State and Rowan University officials announced the gift from Shreiber and to break ground on the school on the University’s West Campus in Harrison Township.
Shreiber’s gift is the third largest to Rowan University (and the second largest from an individual).
A fitting tribute to a businessman who has generously supported education, animal welfare and animal rights for decades, the Shreiber School is only the third named veterinary school in the nation. Currently, there are just 33 veterinary schools in the United States and only five on the east coast.
With the addition of the veterinary school, Rowan will become only the second institution nationally to offer D.V.M., M.D. and D.O. degrees.
The first class of 60-70 students is anticipated to begin studies in 2025, pending accreditation approval.
Shreiber’s gift will support scholarships to help keep the costs of a veterinary school education affordable for students in New Jersey.
A generous supporter of Rowan for more than two decades, Shreiber pledged $3 million in 2019 to establish the Shreiber Family Pet Therapy Program at Rowan.
In 2021, the New Jersey Legislature approved $75 million in funding to help support construction of the school’s primary academic and clinical facilities. The 108,000-square-foot building will include academic classrooms, educational and diagnostic laboratories, a teaching hospital and administrative and faculty offices.
“Animals help all of us live richer, fuller, more active lives,” says Shreiber, a proponent of adopting rescue animals. “I’m delighted and honored to help make a difference in veterinary medical education.”
Matthew Edson is the founding dean of the Shreiber School of Veterinary Medicine.
A gifted South Jersey entrepreneur and philanthropist, Gerald B. Shreiber transformed a bankrupt soft pretzel company into an international brand in the multi-billion-dollar snack food and beverage industry.
Chairman of the board of J&J Snack Foods Corp., Shreiber built the company into one of the consummate niche players in the industry with leading brands that include SUPERPRETZEL, ICEE, LUIGI’S and Minute Maid.
Today, J&J boasts nearly 4,600 employees and sales of more than $1 billion annually.
The son and grandson of fruit and produce salesmen, Shreiber grew up outside of Atlantic City, where he developed a lifelong love of animals. He has used his extraordinary business success as a springboard to support both education and animal rights and welfare.
Named the South Jersey Humanitarian of the Year by the Animal Adoption Center in 2006, Shreiber served as a board member on a host of animal welfare associations, including, among many others, the Pennsylvania S.P.C.A., the North American Wildlife Park Foundation, and the Animal Welfare Institute. His foundation, S.A.F.E. (Shreiber Animal Foundation Enterprise), made a transformational gift for a pet therapy program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Shreiber’s support of Rowan University and its students began in 2014 when he funded scholarships for student entrepreneurs. In 2019, his $3 million gift established the Shreiber Family Pet Therapy Program, which brings certified therapy animals to Rowan’s campus to provide wellness resources to students, faculty and staff.
His $30 million gift to the veterinary school support scholarships for Rowan’s veterinary students. The gift is the third largest gift to Rowan University.
In recognition of his success as a businessman and his support of education and animal health and welfare, Shreiber will receive an honorary Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Rowan’s Commencement.